Rape trial ends with hung jury
After a day and a half of deliberations, a jury returned Friday with no verdict in the trial of Robert Eoff, a man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.
When asked whether more deliberation might result in a verdict the jury unanimously responded “no.” The case was reset for trial on the same charges for Jan. 18. Eoff’s bail was lowered to $7,500 and Friday afternoon Eoff, 41, was out on bail after almost seven months in the county jail.
Defense attorney William Routsis said he spoke with several jurors after they were dismissed.
“I was told that they were 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal,” Routsis said. “At one point they fluctuated to 11 to 1 in favor of my client.”
Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara said he could not confirm or deny those figures.
Routsis said he would be filing a motion to have the case dismissed.
“The judge has a right to dismiss a case if there is no reasonable probability that the defendant can be convicted on the evidence,” Routsis explained. “The judge could dismiss in the interest of justice.”
During the trial the defense brought witnesses who placed Eoff in Santa Barbara picking up a load of avocados during one of the days in question.
While on the stand testifying in his own defense Eoff said, “I was not there. I did not do it.”
Routsis also attacked what he called inconsistent testimony by the 16-year-old during the investigation and then on the witness stand.
“She told the first deputy that she was always raped on the floor, and then she told the investigator she was always raped on the bed,” Routsis said. “She also changed her statements about him wearing a condom during the alleged rapes.”
Routsis said his client had reasons for being near the girl’s home in Meyers on the second day in question. A neighbor and friend of the family testified that she saw Eoff’s truck near the girl’s residence three times on Feb. 10. The girl’s mother later told the court that Eoff had permission to be near the house that day to pick up the family dog and take it to the vet. A veterinary technician also testified to Eoff bringing the dog in on Feb. 10.
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